You may not be a Picasso or Mozart but you don’t have to be. Just create to create. Create to remind yourself you’re still alive. Make stuff to inspire others to make something too.
— Frederick Terral
While I was in high school, I was getting tired of all my friends gleaming over these boy bands like the Backstreet Boys and NSync. It was annoying. They would play their music loud in their cars, sing them in the hallways, and even expect dudes like me to take heed in what these manufactured bands were singing about. What did I naturally do? I took it to the pencil and paper and decided to create a little comic book parodying the whole boy band craze called Whackstreet Boys. Not the most creative title in the world, but it got the reaction I wanted.
I love being able take an idea, creating something, and see if it was anywhere along the lines of what I imagined in my head. Sometimes it’s not exactly what I imagined but going through that process over and over again — you begin to get better and better. And seeing those improvements over time in my drawings have always excited me and that’s a huge reason why I continue to draw. Here’s the elements and a bit of a breakdown of why I draw:
The beauty of a blank page
A blank page represents the excitement of creating. The page is just calling for you to make a mark and start anew. There’s just so many possibilities here and you’re in control. You can do anything and no one can stop you. If anything, you can always start with a new blank page.
The wonder of an imagination
When I draw, anything is possible. You literally draw from your experiences and the imagination hopefully you haven’t lost while you were a kid. From the graffiti you see on brick walls, cartoon characters you see in the Sunday funnies to artists you meet at local Sketchbombs — you’re creating something inspired but unique to you.
The satisfaction of being done
There’s always an end point when I draw, whether it’s what you expected or something totally different — you end with a finished product. Either I say, “damn, that’s not what I wanted” and scrap it or “sweet — that’s going up somewhere!”. There’s definitely a lot of the former, but when a drawing clicks — it’s a great feeling. Sometimes it takes a ton of “damns” before you get to a “sweet”.
I continue to draw today mostly on my iPad — I love Zen Brush. I’m not the best artist by any means, but like I mentioned a week ago — “it soothes my soul.” Drawing keeps my brain fresh and taps into the creativity I want to keep from my childhood. Maybe that’s why I love working and building products at startups so much. There’s a sense of taking an idea, building it, and seeing it through while getting feedback. It’s a fun continuous process.
I know there’s a ton of artists at heart out there. It would be great to hear from you on why you draw. Feel free to just tweet me @joesunga with a #whyidraw hashtag to a tweet explaining why you draw or leave a comment below. I’d love to start curating everyone’s thoughts.